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children's portraits in the bluebell woods, Forest of Dean

Family photography in the bluebells

Family photography in the bluebells

April and May are always  busy months for child and family photographers because of the emergence of the bluebells. Here in the Forest of Dean, we are lucky to have some wonderful bluebell woods, in this blog you will find some tips and some inspiration for photographing the bluebells.


How to find your nearest bluebell wood

The National Trust has a number of bluebell woods on their land but these are mainly used for visiting families and not for professional family shoots. Therefore I would begin by scouting for smaller local woods close to the well known larger woods, as bluebells tend to migrate across areas. A starting point is to visit the National Trusts bluebell page which lists bluebell woods all over the country. The Forestry Commission also have a top 10 of beautiful blue bell woods. 


When to photograph in the blue bell woods

Choose the time of day wisely, ideally you want to photograph early in the morning or late afternoon into the evening. Avoid midday sun if possible. At this time of year the trees can be quite bare which can led to patches of light which can create unevenly lit images. Don't despair if cloud fill the sky, they help to soften the light and you can use them to your advantage.


Consider your perspective

your perspective can really change the overall feel of the shot. Try shooting from low down here you can create a beautiful purple blur at the front of your image. If you shoot from a standing position you can have a carpet of bluebells across the entire shot, close up portraits can also work well because of the dark green and purples in the background.


Challenges to bluebell photography

I have come across 2 main challenges when photographing in the bluebells:


- Strong blocks of dark colours in the background from tree trunks. Scan the background before pressing the shutter,  I try my best to remove these from shot by changing my position

- Green colour casts.  often sitting on the ground you can get a lot of green bouncing onto their skin, especially in the shadows. This can be edited in post production.



Protecting bluebells for future generations

Our bluebells are a protected species so paying attention to where you sit is very important. Look for patches/areas that have no bluebells or use pathways. If you shoot from very low down it is easy to make a path disappear in camera. Alternatively you can use the pathways to create some lovely leading lines to your family. It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells. Bluebells can take years to recover after footfall damage. Please stick to the paths and protect these beautiful woodlands.


If you are interested in a family photography session in the bluebells get in touch by emailing kathryn@capturethismoment.co.uk


Family photography sessions in Bluebell woods, Forest of Dean

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